The 19-year-old opens up about her show-stopping style

By Sarah Kinonen
Updated September 09, 2015 04:00 PM

Zendaya may only be 19, but she’s quickly become one of our favorites to watch on the red carpet thanks to her risk-taking style. We caught up with the star and her stylist Law Roach to hear all about her fun fashion philosophy. Read on — and check out the 9/21 issue of People (on newsstands now) for more about the next-generation of style stars.


The star is sure of her style now, but that confidence didn’t come over night. “I really thank Law for helping me become more comfortable in my skin and not care so much,” Zendaya tells People. “At some point in your life — in everybody’s life — you’ve got to realize you’re living for yourself, and you’re not living for the opinions of other people.” She continued on her new-found fashion philosophy: “I’m not dressing to impress anybody but myself.”

She also applies that same mentality to her beauty look. “If we’re having fun, I get to try on 80 different hairstyles, I can do anything with my makeup and my wardrobe,” she says. “When you get to a point where people expect you to do anything you want, it’s very liberating.”

Which is probably why her stylist’s favorite look on the star is one she paired with an extra-large accessory. “One of my favorite [looks] is when she wore Armani to the Teen Vogue Young Hollywood party with the big hat,” Roach tells People.

And according to Zendaya, adding bold accessories (like her Pharrell Williams-inspired topper), is usually a last-minute decision between her and Roach — and it always ends in the two having a blast together. “That was one of those things where some people were going to get it, and some people weren’t — we let [them] figure it out,” she says. “It was just a moment. It’s fun.”

But away from the cameras, Zendaya’s everyday style is far from glitz and glam, she says. Her off-duty style is all about comfort. “Outside of the red carpet, I’m very simple,” she says. “I alternate four different things: I have ripped boyfriend jeans, plain white and grey T-shirts, a bomber jacket and clean, fresh shoes.”

She adds that no matter what she’s wearing, her shoes will always take center stage,which is why she and Roach teamed up to design a new footwear collection called Daya (her childhood nickname). “I just don’t have time [to dress up], but I still want to be chic and dope, so my shoes are always like a statement piece for me. When I get to wear chill outfits, I’m going to have fly sneakers or the dopest heels. That’s the statement, that’s the focal point.”

What do you think of Zendaya’s style? Do you like the risks she takes? Share below!

Don’t forget to check out People’s 2015 Style Issue for more on up-and-coming fashion stars, the best-dressed women of the year, plus cover star Melissa McCarthy’s top five fashion rules — on newsstands now!

–Sarah Kinonen

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